was one of baseball's most thrilling players. jackie robinson changed baseball and he changed america. he kept his focus in the face of adversity because he had a higher goal. in studying him, i learned that branch ricky, who decided to courageously break the color barrier, look for a black that had the temperament and the focus to take all of the jeers, to take all of the hostility and take all of the hate and still perform and rise above what he was facing. jackie robinson showed a change agent but first changed himself. must have the temperament, the determination and focus that they can take whatever it is necessary to take in order to make change happen. those that opened door have to be stronger than those that walk through doors that have already been opened. happy birthday, jackie robinson. thank you for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. >>> hawks or buzzards? let's play "hardball." ♪ >>> good evening. i'm chris matthews down in washington. let me start tonight with this. the boiling hatred of the american right poured over today in hearings on chuck hagel'